Vowing to “Uphold the Law,” County Consents to Build-Out

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The California coastal community in suburban San Francisco consented to construct 5G small cell antennas, reports the East Bay Times.  Verizon Wireless has been granted approval to install small cell antennas and equipment in five locations.  All are in public right-of-way properties in either Alamo or Walnut Creek.

Bowing to the telecom’s right to serve underserved areas, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff said, “I must uphold the law,” when confronted by unhappy residents. 

“While I’d like to do what the appellants are asking, I must uphold the planning commission’s [decision],” she added. Townsfolk’s arguments about declining property values, aesthetic blight, and fire risks were not enough to sway those who voted in favor of Verizon’s application.

Verizon Wireless plans on placing its cylindrical antennas on PG&E poles wherever possible, or on the ground where existing poles are not available. It is anticipated that the 5G services being implemented will increase internet speed and assist with other innovations like self-driving cars and medical devices that will need the support of the upgraded 5G technology. Booster boxes to extend the range of the towers will also be added to utility poles and buildings.

Residents opposing the small cell antennas are appealing the decision. As the Costa County Board voted to approve Verizon’s request, Board Chairman John Gioia explained that the decision respected the Board’s “land use authority.” While people continue to raise EMF concerns, citizens were reminded that the World Health Organization has discovered no health risks associated with cell towers. The Contra Costa County Fire Department also indicated that they did not see any risks posed by adding more small cell antennas.  

March 28, 2019

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